Rejection. It’s not a feeling with which I identify very often.
I mean, make no mistake, I have BEEN rejected, plenty. And I used to get SO embarrassed by it. Ashamed of it. Like so much visible proof that I wasn’t IT enough. Pretty enough, entertaining enough, worthwhile enough, fun enough.
And it felt like a scar that everyone could see.
Mostly, I’ve felt this in relation to the attention or lack thereof of boys and men and a few girls and women who mostly weren’t even good fits to begin with.
Inconsistent or unenthusiastic attention cut deeper than no attention at all.
(Or so I thought until I became involved with a serial ghoster and remained so for far too long.)
It’s always been this odd tension for me, between a very strong sense of self-love and an equal sensitivity to feeling wanted or not by others. Like IIIII think I’m wicked pretty, super entertaining, obviously worthwhile, and so much fun. But even though I THINK I don’t worry about what other people think, I somehow end up hung up on whether THEY think I’m those things, too. (Ya think? I personally wouldn’t a thunk. But alas. Kerplunk.)
Over the past several years, as I’ve put myself out there as an entrepreneur, I’ve started to feel the weight of rejection and the spectre of not-enoughness in altogether new ways.
In other professional spaces with clear-cut containers, I’ve tended to contend more with feeling TOO wanted rather than not enough, feeling pulled in too many directions rather than not pulled anywhere at all. As I’ve ventured into so much unknown in the realm of online entrepreneurship, the distinction has become magnified and in stark contrast to that being-sought-after feeling to which I’d been accustomed for so long.
When other people are organizing the events and advertising the offerings, you’re able to devote yourself to the craft and art of what you’re doing. But when it’s you in charge of creating and providing the thing as well as promoting and selling the thing, all sorts of sensitive edges can get eroded and emotional boundaries permeated.
It’s the nature of the beast and the evolution is beautiful, if often messy and sometimes excruciating.
The self-trust, self-love, and self-care I hold to be the most integral practices for that most positively thriving life I’m always talking about are MADE for times like these. And they work.
But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Or pretty. Or entertaining. Or fun.
But it’s ALWAYS. I guarantee you. Worthwhile.
Over the past week or so I’ve been grappling with feelings of rejection ALL OVER the place. Like, literally in over ten varied, easily countable encounters or experiences. And as I said earlier, I don’t often identify with the feeling of rejection any more. I’m something of a recovering taker-of-it-personally, and I’ve put in a ton of work to get to a place where it happens infrequently and is less intense when it does. (Though for sure, some days that gets tossed on its head.)
And anyway, it just FEELS better to allow those feelings to signal my attention, as a nudge from intuition or a reminder from Spirit of how I may have been out of alignment in some way, how I might not have set or maintained a relevant boundary or expectation. How I may have been holding on to something that’s been long ready to be let go. And in the times when I’m not able to relate to the experience that way, I usually find myself feeling sad or annoyed but with nothing ringing out to that discordant tune of rejection.
And yet, this weekend, it all felt SO PERSONAL.
In SO MANY ways.
And so, I let it in.
I basically let myself sit and cry and nap and wail and I let myself do it for a whole effing day.
Y’all know I cry ALL the time. But for a while now, it’s been in response to something external. A movie, a song, a video clip, a story – happy things and sad things and scary things and beautiful things, my tears fall freely when my spirit is touched in some deep and tender yet not always predictable way.
But before this weekend, it had been a very long time since I can recall having cried because of something that was actually happening in my life. Which isn’t to say that nothing cry-worthy has happened; far from it, for sure. Just that I didn’t feel called to cry about it. It hasn’t entirely felt safe to do so. So in a way, this was cause for celebration and an odd sort of joy.
This weekend it felt GOOD to let myself feel bad, to let myself sit and cry and nap and wail and do it for the whole effing day.
Now, I don’t share this to invoke sympathy or something like it, to set in motion a domino track of sorries and i love yous and you got thises. (I always appreciate all the love sent my way, but that’s not what this is about today.)
I’m sharing this to open a window onto the other side of things, a natural balance to the sunshine and good cheer, a complement to my more motivating musings and upbeat revelations. We are beautifully, messily multidimensional and many-faceted, and shadows only scare us because someone told us that they should.
Time and time again, I see the best-meaning of us get uncomfortable when folks share the less-than-sunny sides of their life. As if the truth is contagious and only manifests pains. As if acknowledging equals wallowing and discomfort is not allowed.
But denying the truth doesn’t make it less true. If I wasn’t sure of that before, the last couple of years have cemented it unyieldingly solid.
Sometimes we need to buck up and shed light, others we must surrender to the sadness and night. And trust that in so doing, we’re clearing and creating a way to the other side.
Which is what happened for me the day after the big cry. Had I avoided the muck, it surely would have lingered. Instead, it showed me what I needed to see and carved out the space I needed for it to be seen.
It might take longer or less than a day. It might take support and more professional help. But avoiding a thing is a ticket to more of the thing. Allowing it is often the first step out.
I’d love to hear what hit home for you here. Send me a message your thoughts!
And if you’d like to work together around any of the themes addressed in this post, book a complimentary Possibilities Session to explore your options!